An eight day court hearing kicks off this morning as the Financial Conduct Authority begins a test case regarding Business Interruption Insurance.
The test case involves a sample of 17 insurance policy wordings that have been collated by the FCA, and which it says capture the majority of the key issues that could be in dispute between insurers and policy holders.
Many estate agencies are believed to be amongst the thousands of companies disputing their insurers’ interpretations of liability under different Business Interruption policies; many insurers claim such policies do not cover closures forced by pandemics such as Coronavirus.
The FCA’s 184-page claim names eight companies - Arch Insurance (UK); Argenta Syndicate Management; Ecclesiastical Insurance Office; Hiscox Insurance Company; MS Amlin Underwriting; QBE UK; Royal and Sun Alliance; and Zurich Insurance.
The case will be heard this week from today until Thursday, and again for the same four days of next week.
A result is expected before the end of the summer.
The test case is one element of a package of measures put forward by the FCA, seeking insurers’ support for assisting those suffering a financial impact because of coronavirus - including estate and letting agents.
Mishcon de Reya, a law firm that has previously been active across the property industry, is handling a group action on behalf of a number of companies against one specific insurer, Hiscox, which is allegedly failing to honour business interruption cover policies.
It is thought this latter group - known as the Hiscox Action Group and believed to include hundreds of claimants - may include property companies.